Durham engagement shoots are kind of our favorite thing and also we like Abby and Rachel a lot. We made them stand in a bunch of strange places in soggy wooded areas. We threw leaves at them (possibly containing centipedes). We made them do shadow puppet kung fu. We took an elevator downtown that literally had a puddle of pee in the corner of it so we all stood huddled together on the other side to avoid it. We made them sit on the ground of public sidewalks and cuddle. They giggled the entire time presumably because we were making them feel mildly uncomfortable (it’s what we do) and we all talked about television and Durham and our love of the pink penguins outside 21c. We’re shooting their wedding next year at the Haw River Ballroom (one of our favorite local venues!) and even though we may make them stand in more soggy wooded areas, at least we won’t have anymore peed-in elevators to contend with.
Sooo many pups lately! We’ve had a ton of them accompanying us to shoots, but we can’t complain because who doesn’t love fuzzy adorableness? I am a sucker for fluffy dogs and especially Huskies, so when Abby and Rick told us that they were planning on bringing their eight week old Husky pup named Athena, I went to work on devising a plan where we could pretend like we’re posing and photographing the couple, but really just photograph Athena the entire time. Then when Abby and Rick would see the pictures later, they couldn’t even be mad that there weren’t any pictures of them because Athena is so cute.
But it turns out that Abby and Rick were also really cute, and really nice, and the light was SO GOOD on this morning session in Durham that we decided to suck it up and not just photograph Athena, but also photograph her owners as well as her adorrrrrable and very very sweet older brother, Atlas, a Black Lab/Golden Retriever mix. Atlas is ridiculously calm and well behaved for his age (ten months), and also fiercely loyal to his mother. He cried whenever she’d walk around the corner despite many pets and reassurances from us that we weren’t kidnapping her. The pups kept Abby company while Rick was away on deployment, and now they are all very happy to have Rick back home to spend time together hiking and being really, really cute.
I used to teach with Jen back when I first moved to North Carolina and she was the best: a great teacher, a supportive coworker, and I was so happy to have met a new friend. When I quit teaching, she remained my friend and actually modeled for me when I started my photography career, agreeing to be pictured in the middle of some grass in a bright plastic purple chair without complaint. ;) Over the years we remained in touch and we knew she started dating this guy named Chris who seemed pretty great based on his Facebook profile (how else do you judge people?). When we finally got the chance to meet him, we were SUPER EXCITED to see that he was every bit as amazing and hilarious and personable as Jen… plus he had a pretty epic beard. Geoff isn’t known for striking up conversations with people he doesn’t know well, and I believe him and Chris sat at a wedding for a good twenty minutes discussing their beards when they first met. Plus Chris didn’t seem disturbed when I told him about my affinity for reading mountaineering disaster books.
Now we’re so excited to be their wedding photographers! They’re getting married in Asheville next year and we couldn’t be happier to be there with them as we love them both a whole lot. It’s that thing where you love your friend, and then they get a boyfriend and you’re not really sure what that person will be like… and then you meet them and they’re just like your friend and so it’s like having two of the exact same friend now so it’s like friendship amplified? It’s awesome. They are perfect for each other… they love the outdoors and nature and beards (Chris’s is longer than Geoff’s now) and they have an adorable one-eyed dog named Gunner who loves water, sticks, and the woods and is scared of cats and children. We hiked through the woods to take their engagement pictures in the fall (yay!) and down to the water. We occasionally stopped Gunner from running gleefully around in order to take his picture for a minute or two, then let him loose again. He only found one unidentifiable bone, so… that’s a plus.